Objectives: To identify and summarize the existing literature on domains/items of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) that are important for patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis (OA) in various sociocultural contexts and critically evaluate existing OA-specific HRQoL instruments based on the important domains/items identified.
Methods: A qualitative systematic literature review was performed using (1) an electronic search of Medline, PsycINFO, ISI Web of Knowledge, and the Cochrane Library (using 29 relevant keywords), and (2) a manual search of relevant journals, textbooks, and bibliographies. Titles and abstracts were reviewed using predefined criteria to select potential articles for full text review.
Results: From 20,768 reviewed references, 77 articles were selected for full text review, of which 15 articles fulfilled inclusion criteria. Studies were conducted in English (4 each in the United States and Canada, 2 in the United Kingdom, and 1 in Ireland), French (n = 2), and Swedish (n = 2). Important HRQoL domains in 1 or more countries included pain, physical disability, sports/recreational activities, other symptoms of OA, mental health, social health, and knee/hip-related quality of life. Items within each domain varied from country to country except some physical disability items. The paucity of available information did not allow adequate assessment of OA-specific instruments coverage of important domains/items in various sociocultural contexts.
Conclusions: A surprisingly sparse literature reports the important HRQoL domains/items from the perspective of patients with knee or hip OA. Additional studies are needed to determine the important domains/items for these patients and to confirm that OA-specific measures are truly accurate and comprehensive when applied in various sociocultural contexts.